Wise Words on Drawing – Lynton Lamb

I just posted this in a comment on drawingowu and then decided I should repeat it here because it is so good. Not my words for a change, but a quotation from Preparation for Painting by Lynton Lamb, 1953:

 ‘It is inadvisable to lay down rules about drawing methods. They can be successfully broken, or most unsuccessfully observed. A drawing is an intimate piece of evidence of the mind’s working….However consciously we may acquire this skill, in execution we are probably as unconscious of it as we are of the modulation of our lips when we are whistling….Drawings are lines put round an idea…An artist’s achievement is sometimes greater than his [sic] intention; it is sometimes not his intention at all, but a by-product of it….he cannot avoid the deviations of human judgement. Between question and answer lies an incalculable area of search. So there is in all good drawing an element of discovery, a twist away from the expected, an aspect of truth that looks like distortion….This effort for accuracy is essential to all drawing irrespective of what one wishes to be accurate about….accuracy is not “detail” rather than “freedom”, or representation rather than invention. It is concentration rather than wool-gathering: saying what one means rather than not meaning what one says: it is trying to draw rather than not really trying at all.’


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